Economics Program at Salem College

Why are some people and nations in poverty yet others are not? How do businesses decide what to make, how many people to hire, and what price to charge? The Economics program at Salem College offers courses, majors and minors to understand and answer these questions. Students in economics explore how the economy works, how businesses make decisions, and how the government addresses issues in the economy.

What is Economics?

Economics is the study of how society allocates scarce resources. Economics is founded in moral philosophy, not profit maximization as many assume. Knowledge of economics will provide you with the tools to understand and analyze current events and trends, different market structures, governmental policy, and consumer behavior. The Economics Program offers a major and minor in Economics. The major in Economics has three tracks: Mathematical Economics, Policy Analysis and Business Economics.

Why should I study economics at Salem College?

  • High-touch Faculty Interactions: The Economics Program faculty are engaged with students on a one-on-one basis through student/faculty research, professional development and job placement, and supportive learning environments.
  • Professional Development: Economics students are engaged in professional development endeavors throughout the curriculum. Students intern in the local Winston-Salem community at local banks such as BB&T, credit unions, local businesses and government agencies. Recent internship examples include the City of Winston-Salem Community and Housing Development, BB&T Multicultural Market Operations, Law Offices, small businesses including The Olio Glassblowing Studio, and Action Coach Business Consultancy. Recent job placements include Bank of America’s capital asset training program, Peace Corps, ACCION microfinance bank, and numerous graduate & law schools.

Why should I study economics at a women’s college?

Empirical evidence supports the importance of single-sex education in economics. In an experiment that randomly assigned students taking introductory economics to single-sex or co-ed classes, women in the single-sex class earned higher grades–not only in that class but in subsequent classes–than women in the co-ed class. This is important as the profession of economics is very gendered: only 13% of economists are female.

Across all workers, women earn 77% of what men earn, on average and the pay gap is even worse for women of color. Studying economics can help you learn why that happens and help you avoid becoming part of that statistic! Average earnings among college graduates who majored in economics are higher than for almost any other major.

What can I do with a degree in Economics?

Typically, graduates enter the work force within the business industry, or pursue graduate school. Common graduate school programs for economics undergraduates include economics, finance, public policy, political science, anthropology and law school. Common jobs for economics majors include auditing, analyst, finance, investment banker, working in the government sector and policy analysis. Economics touts the highest lifetime income of all undergraduate majors, and is tied with Engineering for highest starting salary by undergraduate major.

Women’s colleges have an excellent track record of preparing women for graduate school. Students interested in graduate school should read this information from the American Economics Association.